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Der konfuse Zauberer

[Image:Moving Theatre logo]Der konfuse Zauberer
oder Treue und Flatterhaftigkeit

The Muddled Wizard
or Fidelity and Fickleness

Farce parody with songs in 3 acts.
By Johann Nestroy
Premiere: Vienna, 26 September 1832.

Funded by

Arts council of England

Austrian Cultural Forum

Schmafu, a sorcerer
Eigensinn [Obstinacy], a wizard
die Treue [Fidelity]
die Flatterhaftigkeit [Fickleness]
Eigensinn’s subservient spirits
Amoroso, Schmafu’s nephew
Amanda, Treue’s niece
1st 2nd and 3rd pirates
Confusius Stockfisch, a pirate
Wünscheltrud, an old witch
der Argwohn
A nymph
Grund, servant to Schmafu
Lord Punschington, an Englishman
Miss Betty, his niece
Amalie Comifo
Benoit Comifo, her brother
Jacques, servants
A little boy
Pirates, nymphs, spirits

Act 1. [Chorus] Amoroso and Amanda are forbidden from marrying by Schmafu, who holds a grudge against Treue [Fidelity], Amanda’s aunt. Elsewhere, Confusius, an incompetent pirate, has been tied to a tree by his fellow pirates and left to die. Eigensinn [Obstinacy], who is enjoying the dispute between Schmafu and Treue, is the first to pass the tree. True to his nature he refuses to untie the desperate Confusius, until Confusius, resigned to his fate, lapses into indifference. Eigensinn leaves him asleep on a nearby bank. The pirates capture Treue, who loses her magic ring in the fray, which Confusius finds.

Act 2. Schmafu is thoroughly unhappy because Treue’s power means that he cannot marry his beloved Flatterhaftigkeit [Fickleness], whom Treue has placed under a spell. Amoroso, having come across Confusius, brings him to Schmafu’s palace, where Confusius reveals he is in possession of Treue’s ring. However, he refuses to give the ring to Schmafu, who then nevertheless manages to persuade Confusius to agree to use the ring to help Schmafu, in return for Schmafu showing him how to use the ring to make all his wishes come true. Schmafu then uses Confusius and the ring to fulfil his dream of marrying Flatterhaftigkeit – but not without a few mistakes being made along the way.

Act 3. Having persuaded Confusius to turn him into an attractive young man, Schmafu soon after his marriage to Flatterhaftigkeit starts having lots of affairs. He tries to keep his complicated love life under control with the help of Confusius and the magic ring. However a series of mistakes lead to his lovers meeting one another, and it is only after much confusion that the situation is resolved. By the end, Schmafu is in dispair, and having drunk a potion, shoots himself, breaking the spell of youth. As his old self he begs Treue for forgiveness and gives his consent to Amanda and Amoroso’s marriage. Confusius meanwhile gladly returns Treue’s magic ring to her, and she takes him off to her temple of truth and happiness.


The Plays of Johann Nestroy. A directory of synopses prepared by Julian Forsyth & Zoe Svenson.
Funded by the Austrian Cultural Forum and Arts Council England. © Moving Theatre 2004